Report: Lawsuit Claims Disney Spying On Kids Through Gaming Apps

BURBANK, Calif. (CBS) — Entertainment giant Disney is the latest company to be caught up in a scandal involving video games.

The Washington Post reports Disney is being sued over claims that some of its gaming apps are collecting personal information from its young players and then sharing that information illegally with advertisers.

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Disney is reportedly listed as a defendant in the suit, alongside three other tech companies, including Upsight, Unity, and Kochava. The plaintiffs in the lawsuit say that Disney is violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which protects children’s privacy through online sites and apps. The plaintiffs are looking for an injunction that stops Disney and its partners from disclosing the information without parental consent and to collect for punitive damages and legal fees

“Disney has a robust COPPA compliance program, and we maintain strict data collection and use policies for Disney apps created for children and families,” Disney said in a statement to The Washington Post. “The complaint is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of COPPA principles, and we look forward to defending this action in Court.”

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According to the lawsuit, games like “Disney Princess Palace Pets” and “Where’s My Water 2” have “trackers” inside their code that allows Disney to “exfiltrate that information off the smart device for advertising and other commercial purposes.”

This isn’t the first time that something like this has happened. In 2014, TinyCo., the developer of “Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff,” agreed to pay a $300,000 fine to settle charges brought against it from the FTC over claims that it violated COPPA standards.

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